Two brothers leading lavish lifestyles in London have attempted to secure lucrative oil contracts from Sudan’s sanctioned regime with help from the Palestinian Authority
Issam and Devincci Hourani’s involvement with Palestinian Authority corruption surfaced at a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs this summer, which heard that they were working with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ son Yasser Abbas on business deals all over the world, including in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, and Sudan.
The Congressional Committee heard that US intelligence officials had established that Yasser Abbas worked with Devincci Hourani to pursue an oil business in Sudan called Caratube International Oil Company (CIOC), and that the two individuals received help from the Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Sudan to win three oil blocks on behalf of CIOC.
CIOC, owned by Devincci Hourani, a US national, was prohibited by US federal law from engaging with the Sudanese oil industry due to US sanctions that have been placed on the Sudanese regime for its flagrant human rights violations related to the genocide in Darfur. It would appear neither Hourani nor his Palestinian enablers were deterred by Sudan’s atrocious human rights record however.
Hourani has never denied having been involved in discussions with the Sudanese regime about the purchase of oil blocks with the assistance of the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, he has never confirmed the status of his negotiations about the proposed transaction.
Congress was told that the Houranis both received Palestinian diplomatic passports, which according to the US intelligence officials entitle them to travel with immunity. Diplomatic passports are reserved for diplomats and other important officials, such as ministers and heads of security services. Those who do not satisfy these positions can only acquire such a passport directly from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, raising questions about his role in enabling the illicit deal by granting diplomatic passports to two individuals who are not even Palestinian citizens.